The United States places high value on the principles of transparency and accountability in government. That was Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Michael Kozak's message to the Organization of American States in late July.
This is a critical time across the Western Hemisphere as unprecedented prosecutions, brave media reporting, and peaceful citizen protests against corruption are taking place. Citizens in Latin America are fully aware that corruption siphons off billions of dollars that could feed children, build schools, and improve infrastructure. Corruption stifles economic growth and promotes inequality. It aids and abets human rights abuses, fuels organized crime and instability.
That's why people across the Western Hemisphere are organizing to demand better governance. And they are finding that they can effect change democratically and peacefully.
Through the Open Government Partnership, governments are able to demonstrate to their citizens a commitment to accountability and transparency. With this in mind, the U.S. supports the fact that civil society is increasingly engaged in anti-corruption efforts as they amplify the voice of the governed.
The U.S. welcomes the establishment of the OAS Mission Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras. The U.S. has supported this program through 5.2 million dollars in contributions, and this assistance will serve an important role in tackling long-term corruption networks and improving rule of law in Honduras.
There are also laudable efforts underway in Guatemala. The U.N. Commission Against impunity in Guatemala continues to combat corruption and impunity as well as build up Guatemalan rule of law capacity. This commission has been a vital ally to victims of impunity and public prosecutors as it has acted as an anchor for rule of law issues and a catalyst for judicial reform.
In the tradition of these successes, the United States looks forward to advancing the principles of accountability, transparency and democracy elsewhere in the hemisphere.